Three players were sent off and a host of others were booked yet it wasn’t an unruly affair as Dublin made off with a good win over champions, Kilkenny in the National Hurling League at Nowlan Park today.
In the end the Dubs claimed a 0-25 to 3-11 victory that leaves them on top of Division 1A and in prime positions to make the knock-out stages.
The Dubs were leaders from start to finish, but Kilkenny’s momentum was badly disrupted when they had attacker, Jonjo Farrell red carded, harshly it appeared, in the 23rd minute when they had battled back to be a mere 0-8 to 1-4 behind after a poor start.
The Cats had a second player red carded in the 55th minute, and minute from the end a Dublin player saw red after being shown a second yellow, all of which overshadowed to some degree a fine winning effort by the Dubs.
The winners burst out of traps when backed by the strong wind. With a blast of points from free taker, David Treacy and a pair from play by flying centre-back, Peter Kelly they threatened to bury the unsure All-Ireland champions when they jumped 0-7 to 0-1 clear after 10 minutes.
A pointed free from Richie Hogan halted the Kilkenny slide before Matt Ruth plundered a goal from virtually nothing to bring them back into contention (0-7 to 1-2). Another pair of minors from Hogan and Padraig Walsh, against one reply from Simon Lambert for the Dubs, left the divide at the minimum before the lively Farrell was sent off.
Dublin left corner-back Paul Schutte was employed as the extra man in defence operating between the two lines, and they stormed away again to build up a good interval lead of 0-15 to 1-5.
For the new half centre-back Peter Kelly was left as the free man in the Dubs defence, and he performed extremely well as they repeatedly beat back the best the home side had to offer. When Mark Schutte pointed in the 50th minute the Dubs held a command 0-23 to 1-6 lead, and Kilkenny were struggling badly.
The home side had late goals from Richie Hogan (free in 62nd minute) and Matt Ruth (65th minute), and despite passionate support from the home fans, they never looked like saving the game.
Scorers: Dublin - D. Treacy (0-11); D. Sutcliffe (0-4); E. Dillon, M. Schutte (0-3 each); P. Kelly (0-2); S. Lambert, S. Durkin (0-1 each). Kilkenny - R. Hogan (1-7); M. Ruth (2-0); W. Walsh, P. Walsh, M. Kelly, J.J. Farrell (0-1 each).